22nd Jul2017

NASA Utah Round 5: Warm Mornings

by Michael Chandler

Who doesn’t love a warm morning?  Just hearing “warm morning” conjures up images of eating half a cantaloupe while wearing a terry cloth polo shirt, while telling the neighbor kid that you do love a warm morning, despite the fact that it’s 3:30pm.  Thankfully the NASA weekend didn’t have any of that weirdness, nor were the mornings warm.  Well, the one I was there for was hot.  I slept in on Sunday, and managed to get there when it was just getting hot enough to ruin people’s attempts at fast laps.  Thankfully there were some people who only needed to have one good lap.

TT1 saw David Bradshaw in his Lyfe prepped 996 Cup Car set a personal best (1:37.601) on Saturday!  The personal best was only good for second place, because Rhett Panter came down in his crazy widebody S2000 and ran a 1:36.389.  David was not defeated though, he came back on Sunday and took the class win on Sunday.

Shawn Murphy ran a 1:32.976 on Saturday and 1:33.865 on Sunday.  Both of his times, in his TT2 car which he drives on the streets because Wyoming is still calling plays out of the 1887 playbook, were good enough to win TTU.  Imagine what this thing could do if he pulled some weight out of it…

Speaking of TTU: Mike Kresser ran unopposed in the class all weekend.  He threw down a 1:33.567 on Saturday, and a 1:33.872 on Sunday.  He also bought a couple of the super stylish CAMautoMag shirts, a thing you should also do.

John Calvin bagged another TT3 win on Saturday, with a 1:42.706.  Say what you will, a Mustang can be very competitive.  A point which we’ll come back to later.  Something that’s always going to be competitive, granted it’s not some hair-brained project that’s constantly trading hands, is a boosted E36.  Coincidentally that is what Geoffrey Crockett happens to drive.  He laid down a 1:42.758 on Sunday.

I managed to miss both of Nam Yoon’s TT4 winning laps, so I’m using a photo from the last time NASA was on the West track.  Anyway, he ran a 1:40.150 on Saturday, and a 1:39.425 on Sunday.

Front wheel drive hatchbacks seem to be the platform of choice for TTC.  Eduardo Acurero, in his monster CRX, took the win on Saturday with a 1:44.392.  John Butcher, in his tried and true Mini Cooper S, collected the win on Sunday with a 1:49.435.

Trever Pope took home both TTD wins on the weekend, but didn’t collect any tires from the class’s contingency program.  Why?  There wound up not being enough drivers in the class.  How?  Some of the other competitors self DQ’d because, if I’m remembering correctly, of something to do with the tires they were running.  I’m not 100% sure, and I know I will be corrected.

I don’t remember seeing Todd Green’s blue Miata over the weekend, but I do remember seeing ol’ Paul Mitchell turning laps.  Knowing the following: Todd regularly drives Paul, he’s driven Paul more than the blue car this year, and he’s made Paul easier and better to drive recently; it’s easy to come to the conclusion that Todd was driving Paul in TTE all weekend.  Regardless, Todd took the win on both days.

Now on to something where the drivers have to string together multiple, successive good laps instead of just one perfect lap.  And we’ll start in the Lightning group, and with GTS2 where a pair of Porsches split the weekend’s wins.  On Saturday Adam Heller, Boxster driver and all around nice guy, beat out Mark Boschert, the only Spec Boxster driver and probably a nice guy, for the win.  On Sunday Ed Mineau, in his black 911, beat our Mark for the win.  

Darren Jorgensen, proud owner of some CAM slaps, spent the weekend beating up on his fellow Rearden Racing teammates and M235i Racing drivers in GTS3.  He beat Steve Marx (#44) on Saturday, and Andrew McCubbins (#13 with the sweet rookie stripe) on Sunday.  

Carter James was a man on a mission.  He knifed his way through the Spec Miata field on both days, and had a nice little battle with Matt Williamson on Sunday.  He duked it out with Andy Moench on Saturday.  He even went to so far as to try and get into some fights with some of the other classes.  

Tom Rogers sold his E30!  I know, I was just as shocked as you all must be.  I’ll give you a minute…  Ok, anyway, he bought an E36 and stepped up to ST4 with the intent of dethroning Blake Troester!  OVERTHROW THE BURGEROCRACY!  Unfortunately he didn’t do that in the first outing with the new car, because Mayor McCheese has that Porsche dialed.  Jennifer Gannett couldn’t topple the Burger Civil Servant on Sunday.  

Only one Thunder Roadster, which is probably for the best because I don’t think we could handle another insane battle.  Brian Trapnell took Joe Sim’s roadster out for some competitive laps.

I don’t know where Perry Needham came from, or what he’s doing when he’s not on track, but he’s on a tear this year!  This weekend he swept 944 Spec by edging out Greg Troester on Saturday, then hanging a lap on Greg on Sunday.  Is he some sort of savant?  A hot shoe who decided to trot out the wrong 30 year old Porsche?  We demand answers!

Spec Z had their own run group again!  It was only on Saturday, but they made the most of their solo track time.  Richard Fitzgerald and his new livery qualified first, and looked to go wire to wire.  Then Arthur Golebiowski and his *throws dart at a map of Eastern Europe* Moldovian magic came up and took the lead!  And then there was a battle for the rest of the podium.  Tom Kaminski and Chad Aalders set their sights on Richard.  Tom was the first to get around him, which was pretty uneventful.  Then Chad had his go, and I proceeded to lose my mind as I watched it unfold.

Richard spun on the outside of turn 5, naturally leading to the rest of the turn being open for Chad to drive through.  And then Richard, while still sliding through the turn, started to come down towards the inside!  As you can see, it was pretty close.  Chad managed to take the position without taking any damage, and Richard got himself going again and finished in fourth.

Sunday saw Cole “He’s not Kyle” Powelson run away from the field in a car that had a destroyed CV boot, which could’ve led to catastrophe.  Thankfully it didn’t, but still.

And now on to the fastest group, the Thunder group.  And we start with a car that ran in the Lightning group: Darren Jorgensen’s Turner Motorsports built, Rearden Racing prepped M235i Racing.  A car which can be best described as an in-betweener.  There was no inbetween in GTS 4 though, because he swept the weekend.

GTS3 is on the Thunder results sheet for Sunday, and Andrew McCubbins was out in the group for the race.  So following that logic, we can safely say that he did take GTS3.  Or at least he did, until I get a correction!

Despite dealing with some issues related to it being borderline unbearably hot, George Smith brought out his Corvette in ST1 trim and held off the Ginettas for the win on Saturday.  Sunday saw on one Ginetta, and a lone yellow car.  Not George’s Corvette, but David Bradshaw’s 996 Cup car.  Frank “The Tank” Gannett got himself a redemption win, after being thwarted the day before.

ST2, aka the battle for Makes & Models supremacy, saw Brendon Stewart sweeping the weekend.  He got himself into a pretty good battle with Darren Jorgensen both days, but the old Evo couldn’t quite get around the brand new BMW.  Toby, in the Pink Ribbon Racing BRZ, was dealing with fueling issues and traffic.  Notably the Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs and Andrew McCubbins, who took a very wonky line through turn five all day.  Sunday was a bit better for him, but he still lost to Brendon.

Speaking of those FPRS Mustang BOSS 302FRSs, one got itself a win on the weekend!  And was really messing with a lot of the other drivers.  The blue #85, driven by William “Big Bill” Johnson, was not only the fastest Mustang of the day, but managed to finish 11th overall, just behind one of the GTSU competitors.  Those cars can be really competitive with the right driver and right setup.  We had another highly competitive E36 take a win on Sunday, the Us Against One Clothing M3 held off a pair of the FPRS Mustangs to collect another win for the Minion Mobile.

Both of the 911 GT3Rs were out on track for the first time in a long time.  Al Tiley, who had himself a little get together with the Makes & Models Huracan Super Trofeo last month, was back out in his GT3R!  Always good seeing Al, really nice guy.  He swept the weekend in GTSU, dominating a bunch of 911 Cup cars of various generations.  David Donner in his GT3R, a car that has challenged the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, took home both Super Unlimited wins on the weekend.  He wasn’t really challenged by Les Long, in the #496 911 (which I hear has a four liter engine, which is AWESOME), but he didn’t dominate like Al did.  

And there it is!  The round 5 weekend in 1500-ish words.  No long winded, flowery wrap up, because we have the 6 Hour Enduro coming up quick!  August 4-6 is Round 6 AND THE SIX HOUR ENDURO!!!  Registration information, the schedule, and some general information (IE garage rentals and camping, and gate fees) are up on the NASA Utah website.  And keep checking it out, because more info will be posted!  We’ll be back next month!  Buy a shirt!

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*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
02nd Apr2015

The Wells Report: NASA Utah Round 1

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 1 Michael Wells CAMautoMag-8

Photos by Michael Wells

Back again is Michael Wells, with his series of photos we like to call The Wells Report

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners.

 

31st Mar2015

NASA Utah 2015 Round 1: WE’RE BACK!

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-131

Words by Michael Chandler, photos by Michael Chandler and Gavin Pouquette

 

WE’RE BACK RACING!!!  Yes, our long local nightmare is finally over.  The 2015 NASA Utah season opened up this past weekend on the Outer Loop of Miller Motorsports Park, and it.  Was.  Glorious!  Let’s kick off our coverage with the TT groups, where the action was.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-15

Joe Sim brought out the Turbo Labs turbocharged Acura NSX and ran a blistering 2:00.305 to take the win in TTU.  The NSX made an appearance at Round 6 last year, and was even running around at GT Live back in 2007 and 2008!  Coming in second place was TW Racing in the familiar Audi R8 LMS.  Can the former GT3 car out pace the local legend?  Will we see more of the NSX period?  And what about the Lyfe Motorsports GTR?  Will it defend its title as TTU monster?  We have the better part of the season to find out!

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-222

After a late night tuning session at Ziptie Dynowerks, Greg Valdez took his WRX STi atop the podium in his first TT1 event.  Shawn Murphy, who had an impromptu barbecue on the front straight last year, came in second and retired early with car troubles.  Third place was occupied by Dave Gilliland.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-223

Alex Whetman broke the Focus of Doom, but won the TT3 class in the process.  The 2:06.2 he ran was a full 4.7 seconds faster than the second place  Team Emerald West Porsche 911!  Jon Carver put his #49 Corvette in third.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-189

In TT2 we saw a battle between Robert Rathbone’s 911 and Frank Wilson’s C7 Corvette Z06.  In this battle, the Porsche pulled out the win.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-164

Paul House came out for one TT4 session in his Spec Z, and won himself a nice bottle opener.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-20

Richard Thiessens took some time out of coordinating HPDE instructors to take the class win in TTB.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-220

TTE is looking to be a hotly contested class.  Ben Lamberson and his Audi barely squeaked by Jeb Brown’s Subaru for the class win.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-43NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-236

We had some new faces in Open Wheel!  And those new faces actually won!  In Super Formula David Lockwood in his sharp, livery free car took race one; and Terry Biner, in the familiar Rodizio Grill car took race two.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-240 NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-237 NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-217

Formula is also seeing a new face.  Literally.  Bruno Carneiro (who is fifteen years old.  15!) has jumped from karts into a Formula Mazda car prepped by Ian Lacy Racing, and won race two after finishing behind Troy Duffin in race one.  Steven Costello took third in both races.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-45

Bruno and David weren’t the only newcomers to the Open Wheel group.  Askew Motorsports was out in a Radical for qualifying and a few laps in race one.  I, for one, would like to see Formula and Super Formula grow as fast and as large as Spec Z has.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-144

Speaking of Spec Z, it is huge!  There were six competitors for Saturday’s race, and a total of seven cars registered for the day.  In the race Arthur Golebiowski topped the podium, with Tom Kaminski in the Dip Kings 350Z in second, and Chad Aalders in third.  Shay Chappell, last year’s TT3 champion, has left his Porsche 911 Turbo at home and hopped into a Spec Z.  Shay can wheel, as is evidenced by his championship, so he won’t be in the basement for long.  With fellow newcomers Richard Fitzgerald and Askew MotorSport, this series is only getting more contested.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-57NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-52

In Spec Miata, David Sherman qualified on pole with Mike Ferrara and Allan Anderson behind him.  In the race David Sherman brought home the win, with Mike Ferrara and Allan Anderson behind him.  In other news, David Dingman was back out on track in a blue and yellow Miata!  David’s a great guy, and we’re glad to have him back out on track.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-54

And in the last Spec class, 944 Spec, Samuel Kapp and Otto Silva began what is always a season long battle for the championship.  These guys duke it out every round, and it’s always a good clean fight.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-114

In GTS2 Chris Haunold, in the red #9 Porsche, beat out Jim Miller, in the red #9 Porsche.  Oh man, watching that red Porsche cross the finish line after seeing the red Porsche retire with mechanical issues was something else.  Red Porsche.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-113

Bill “Wild Willie” Noblitt jumped from PTB to GTS3 and took the win over “Good Guy” Gus Stribakos in another all Porsche battle.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-117NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-133

They may have been the only ones in their respective classes, but Todd Green (#58 Paul Mitchell Miata) and Douglas Turnquist (#421 Porsche 944) took their wins and battled with the entire Lightning race group.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-125

Bad Luck Brendon Stewart detuned his Evo so he could drop down to Super Touring 3 and have some competition.  Long time ST3 competitors Travis Tidball (whose blue Corvette is getting wide) and Gary Free (in the Race Co FR500S Mustang) put up a fight against the newcomer, but in the end they couldn’t stop him.  Brendon won the battle, but lifted the cylinder head in the process.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-200

Les Long ran away from the GTSU field, and the rest of the race group in fact.  He posted a best lap time of 1:59.411 during the race.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-241

In GTS5 Russ Timmons held on to a lead of less than a second over Darrell Troester to take the class win.  Chris Vivolo and his blue and white 996 911 rounded out the podium.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-101NASA Utah Round 1 Gavin Pouquette Photography CAMautoMag-3

Byron Smith pitted his BMW against the 370Z of Lara Tallman.  It was a close battle, one in which neither driver could put much distance between the other.  By the time the checkered flag dropped Byron was ahead by 0.593 seconds, and took the win.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-106NASA Utah Round 1 Gavin Pouquette Photography CAMautoMag-6NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-242

Unfortunately not everyone had playmates within their class.  Dan Worley in the Tatum Racing LSX Porsche 944 claimed the ST1 win.  Mike Mielke showed up to ST2 just in time to take over as lone ranger, ironically while driving a Ranger.  And in GTS4 Shawn Tatum held court (see what I did there?  HILARIOUS!) in the Dell & Schaefer Porsche Cayman.

NASA Utah Round 1 Saturday winners Michael Chandler Photography-21

And that’s all she wrote.  It was a solid opening to what’s going to be a great season.  A great season that has an event every month through October!  There’s no excuse to not come out and catch one of these events, and there’s plenty of time to start working your way through the HPDE program so you can start competing with the a fore mentioned drivers.

The next event is April 24-26, and it’s on the West course.  It’s longer straight sections favor the higher horsepower cars, so be prepared to see some blistering lap times in the Thunder race group.  Grab some friends, pile into the car and make your way out to watch some racing!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

 

 

 

 

07th May2014

NASA Utah Round 2: The Monsoon

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah round 2 Open Wheel Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (15 of 15)

April 26 was a miserable, cold, wet day. The daytime high hovered in the lower forties, the rain came down in buckets, and often sideways thanks to the stiff wind. Miller Motorsports Park had planned a huge opening weekend event, but the weather put the kaibosh on that. That said, that NASA Utah guys and gals, SCCA auto-crossers and Masters of the Mountain riders were not detered by the rain. Well, some may have been but there was still a sizable group of racers out in the rain.

NASA Utah round 2 TT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (8 of 23)

The Time Trial entrants were doing their best to cope with the poor conditions, some were coping better than others. In TT1 Shawn Murphy elected to wear his BF Goodrich R1 slicks, which was the wrong decision. His 1:58.285 was second fastest of the day, a staggering five seconds behind the TW Racing Audi R8, but somehow ahead of the Smith-Burke Corvette which turned a very sideways 2:01.957.
One of NASA Utah’s most adorable competitors, Greg Valdez, brought his STi but left the cover on it. He instead brought out his trusty Impreza to do battle against Scott Corsetti’s Porsche. Trustworthy is may be, the TT2 win went with the black Porsche, in which Scott put up a best time of 2:01.203 compared to Greg’s 2:09.194.
TT3 pitted old Porsche 911 vs. less old 911, with Shay Campbell’s 996 chassis 911 walking away from John Carver’s 993, 1:59.344 versus a 2:23.328.
Both TTB and C had one competitor each: Rod Kujaczynski and his GTI in TTC, and Richard Theissen and his 2012 STI in TTB. Despite being in different classes they finished with somewhat similar times: Richard posted a best time of 1:59.739, and Rod threw down a 1:58.286. Both of those times would’ve been competitive in TT1 given the conditions. Let it be said yet again: rain is the great equalizer.
TTE had Jeb Brown in his GC chassis Impreza duking it out with Ben Lamberson in his Audi 90 Quattro. Having been in the Audi I can tell you it has… heart? Ben hustled it to a solid 2:08.142, which wasn’t quite good enough to take the class win. Jeb ran a 2:04.179

NASA Utah round 2 Lightning race group Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (6 of 20)

The Lightning race pitted the usual Spec Miatas against the Spec Zs, with a PTE entry and a GTS2 class car in the mix as well. It also featured something somewhat out of place: Mike Mielke’s American Iron class Pontiac Firebird. Usually the big V8 cars run either against each other in the Thunder race (ST, SU) or against the clock (TT), so seeing the bird running with the smaller cars was a bit different. Or maybe the weather was finally getting to me, not 100% sure, but Mike was out there taking every placed on the podium in AI.
Other driver’s taking first and last in their respective classes were Jim Miller in GTS2, and Allan Anderson in PTE. Not having any class competition doesn’t mean that they didn’t have care-free racing. In addition to the weather they had a three car Spec Z field and a five car Spec Miata field to contend with.
Spec Z displayed a trio of properly prepped race cars, wearing mostly OEM 350Z wheels and tires. Why? Because the tires wrapped around the factory wheels are better capable at handling the odd downpour than the slicks Arthur, Tom and Paul usually run. That said, Arthur Golebiowski made the best use of the stock rubber taking top spot on the podium. Tom Kaminski placed second and Paul House rounded out the podium.
The field of Miatas seemed to enjoy the rain. They would playfully splash in the puddle at the exit of turn two, then slide their way out of it and continue with their lap. David Sherman made it around first, followed by McKay Snow with Chris Bond in third. How long until we see McKay join his brother and mother in the SU field? I don’t know, but I’ve got “It was a Snow-y day in SU” lined up and ready to go when he does.

NASA Utah round 2 Thunder race group Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (12 of 29)

Speaking of SU: it had a new, but familiar competitor! Kyle Schick made the jump to door to door racing, and picked an utterly awful day to do so. That said, he didn’t do too badly considering the seasoned field he was up against. John Scarlett ran away with the win, and Lara Tallman came in third… Behind Wild Schick Racing, aka Kyle. Yes, in his debut race he took second! Can we attribute this to a diminished field and the weather? Probably, but still: second place in that weather behind John Scarlett is not a bad first outing.
The Smith-Burke duo, bolstered by their sideways TT run, took first in ST1. They were the only ones in the class, but it was still an impressive run.
ST2 was a two man battle between Dave Dingman, who returned in his bananas Miata, and Brendon in his rain tire shod Evo. While Brendon had rain tires he was missing some other crucial pieces of equipment: windshield wipers and a defroster. I watched an in car video of his qualifying run, and by the end you couldn’t see a thing. Half way through it was looking dicey. Nonetheless Brendon got out there and battled with Dave, who picked a bad day to make his return. Dave took the win in the poor conditions, proving that Miata is the answer.
I want to take a moment, and propose that we start referring to ST3 as “The Mustang and Occasional Others” class, because the majority of the field is comprised of Mustangs. That said, only one Mustang put itself on the podium: Gary Free took third place, ahead of fellow Mustang driver Travis Williams, but behind Cary Wilson’s Corvette. Alex Whetman, and the Focus of Doom, took the top spot in the rain.

NASA Utah round 2 Open Wheel Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (6 of 15)

People were having a tough time with the rain, but most people over came this. The open wheel racers were having a more difficult time than others. Why? Because of how they work. They need downforce to grip, and to create downforce they need air to move over the car to push the car down into the ground. To get enough air moving over the car they need to go fast. This is not a problem when it’s a nice, warm day; however, when it is raining cats and dogs and all sorts of other animals it begins very difficult. This was evident between turns five and six. Everybody got sideways at the least, and spun around in the dirt at the most. Thankfully everybody finished their races, nobody had a major incident.
In race one Terry Biner took top spot in Super Formula, followed by the #5 car of David Lockwood and the #12 car of Steve Burns. In Formula Chris Taylor took the win, followed by Steven Costello. The results in the second Formula race were the same, while in Super Formula Terry Biner took another win while Steve Burns took second.

NASA Utah round 2 Open Wheel Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (12 of 15)

It was a rough day for us all, rougher for some than others, but all in all it was a good day. Everyone came in cold and wet, but under their own power. The next event is on May 24th and 25th, where hopefully we won’t have another storm. Either way, we’ll be out there and we hope to see you guys there too!

Words and photos by Michael Chandler.  All results courtesy of MyLaps.com

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
31st Mar2014

NASA Utah 2014 Round 1: Thunder and Lightning

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (55 of 105)

The first NASA Utah weekend of the year brought with it its fair share of action.  From new track records to people driving the wheels off their cars, local hero’s, rookies, and national champs all came out to enjoy Utah regions Round 1.  Over 100 drivers challenged Miller Motorsports Park’s outer loop configuration, and our Thunder and Lightning race group featured well over 40 cars on grid for the start of Saturdays race!

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (8 of 105)

David Donner

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (1 of 14)

Peter Spencer

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (25 of 105)

John Scarlett

The GTS drivers were out in force, and entirely in Porsche 911s.  In GTSU David Donner put his red and white Air Power Racing prepped machine in First place ahead of Peter Spencer and John Scarlett, both also in Air Power Racing machines. 

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (12 of 14)

Roberto Albarran leading the pack

 

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (1 of 105)

Alan Wilson

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (10 of 14)

Russ Timmons

GTS5 demonstrated some close racing between Alan Wilson and Roberto Albarran, with Roberto edging out Alan by just under 1 second, despite Alan posting better lap times.  Russ Timmons debuted his beautiful new orange and chrome wrap job to round out 3rd.  Sundays race was another barn burner for these two, Alan was leading a close battle when a daring move in lap traffic, quickly turned into a carefully managed spin, moving him to 2nd, but with Desire supporting over the radio, Alan climbed back into 2nd place, while Mark Brouse finished 3rd.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (11 of 105)

Darrell Troester

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (86 of 105)

Chris Vivolo

 GTS4 was a two man battle between Darrell Troester and Chris Vivolo in their Tatum Racing 911s.  When the checkered flag dropped it was Darrell taking the class win.  Darrell was able to repeat his victory on Sunday, securing a healthy lead for his season.

 

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (93 of 105)

Douglas Turnquist

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (69 of 105)

Bill Noblitt

In the Pro Touring classes it was Douglas Turnquist versus Bill Noblitt in PTB and Todd Green versus his Miata in PTE.  Douglas put his Porsche 944 ahead of Bill Noblit’s Boxster, which retired early due to a mechanical issue.

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (14 of 14)

Todd Green ahead of the Spec Miata group

Todd Green had an exciting Saturday in PTE. After only 4 laps his driver’s front wheel decided it wanted to take a lap off.  It took the hub and brake rotor off into the infield while Todd wrangled the rest of the car to a stop just outside of turn 6. Determined to get back in the game he recruited Matt Guiver and Travis Tidball to sacrifice the E3 Miata sitting quietly in the garage.  Todd worked hard and got his #60 PTE Miata back on the grid in time to edge out Allan Anderson for the class win on Sunday.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (45 of 105)

Chris Bond

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (40 of 105)

David Sherman

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (64 of 105)

Troy Duffin

In other Miata racing news, Chris Bond was your Spec Miata winner, ahead of David Sherman and Troy Duffin respectively.  Rounding out the class were McKay Snow, Paul McGarvey, and rookie Joe Shubert.  David came back with all cylinders firing on Sunday and put down some consistent laps to take 1st place, Troy Duffin clinched 2nd, and Chris Bond had to settle for 3rd.  Larry Carpenter had his hands full keeping cars tuned up for this competitive class.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (50 of 105)

Arthur Golebiowski leading Tom Kaminski into Release

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (44 of 105)

Paul House

Spec Z featured all rookie drivers, in 3 brand new Nissan 350Z Spec racers. Spec racing rules meant the cars were nearly identical, but Arthur Golebiowski, Tom Kaminski, and Paul House drove them very differently.  Arthur wrestled his Strace Z into first, Tom pedaled to 2nd place, and Paul closed the race in 3rd. Arthur even took home a BFG R1 race tire, and $250 from Nissan for his debut race with NASA Utah.  Sunday saw a surprise reversal, Thomas managed to take advantage of traffic to secure 1st place, even though Arthur set a new Spec Z track record with a 2:11.4 his effort was only good enough 2nd.  Paul managed to bring it home in one piece for 3rd. All weekend these three drivers could be found in the paddock discussing strategy, and working on each other’s cars, it’s always nice to see camaraderie in the race grids.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (103 of 105)

Samuel Kapp

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (84 of 105)

Otto Silva

Rounding out the Spec classes is Spec 944, which was the closest racing of the day!  Samuel Kapp in his Eurotonic backed 944 battled with Otto Silva and his orange Euroworks machine.  It was close, but Samuel took the win by .396 seconds after 10 laps on this 3 mile course!

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (9 of 14)

Madison Snow battling Todd Ainsworth

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (4 of 14)

Smith-Burke Racing on their way to setting a new NASA Utah record

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (9 of 105)

Dan Worley sporting a temporary two tone color scheme

Super Touring was a dense field, with the quickest cars and some very experienced drivers at the wheels.  It also featured the widest variety of vehicles. From Alex Whetman’s Focus of Doom to Madison Snow’s IMSA GTD class 991 Porsche that sees action in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.  There are also a good handful of Corvettes, and in ST1 is where we find the 2013 National champ Team Smith-Burke Corvette.  They were competing with Dan Worley and his Chevy LS1 powered Porsche 944.  They came out of the box with a fast pace, opening up a 1:15.701 gap, and setting a new NASA Utah record in the process.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (38 of 105)

Byron Smith

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (4 of 105)

Brendon Stewart

ST2 had old hand Byron Smith in his BMW against rookie Brendon Stewart in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.  Brendon was hoping to not have a repeat of last season’s catastrophic failures and missed races, and things seemed to be working great.  However an incident with the the #33 Skullcandy Team Nissan Altima in Clubhouse turn resulted in a spin, and driver penalties for Brendon.  Determined to learn from his mistake, Brendon found the very small pieces of his bumper, and got the car back together to take 1st on Sunday with a 2:05.4.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (27 of 105)

Cary Wilson

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (15 of 105)

Alex Whetman

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (70 of 105)

Gary Free

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (39 of 105)

Ryan Curl

ST3 was the deepest class with eleven drivers, seven of whom with driving FR500S Mustangs.  Of the Mustang drivers, R. Ryan Curl proved to be the fastest, coming in fifth in class behind Todd Ainsworth’s Us Against One Clothing backed Subaru WRX STi.  Cary Wilson took the class win in his gray C5 Corvette, earning some Hoosier race tires for his efforts, and Alex Whetman’s managed his Focus into second despite a catastrophically failed power steering pump. His effort was good for a contingency award for 1 free BFG R1! Gary Free’s RaceCo prepped Mustang FR500S rounded out the podium in what is shaping up to be an exciting season. Sunday saw Cary once again secure 1st place, while battling a new to him car, Todd Ainsworth drove the UAO STi to 2nd place, and Ryan Curl put down a blistering pace in his Ford Racing school FR500S easily securing 3rd place with a 2:13.9.

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (11 of 14)

Madison Snow in the #13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche

NASA Utah Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Wells (3 of 14)

2013 National Champ George Smith

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (80 of 105)

Melanie Snow

SU was the class to watch.  Two IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship Porsches paired off against the two Skullcandy Team Nissan Altimas which see action in Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge.  Also in the fray were 2014 NASA SU National Champion George Smith and NASA Rookie Skip Sasser in Chevrolet S10. The Nissan’s were plagued by problems: the #33 had an incident with ST2 driver Brendon Stewart, while the #34 Nissan had clutch issues which forced them to retire after eight laps. No stranger to the race track, Skip Sasser drove his #38 S10 to a fourth place finish behind Melanie Snow in the #62 UIS Snow Racing Porsche 911.  Ahead of her was George Smith in the yellow JDP sponsored C5 Corvette.  And topping the SU podium in 1st place, Madison Snow. The 2013 IMSA GT3 Cup champion had a commanding lead by the time the checkered flag dropped.  Sunday saw Les Long owner/operator of Air Power racing get behind the wheel of his Super Unlimited GT3, but there was nothing he could do to compete with Madison Snow. Driving hard, Madison managed a record shattering 1:52.0 to secure the win.

NASA Utah Round 1 Thunder and Lightning group CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (95 of 105)

And so ends a successful opening weekend to the NASA Utah season.  The next race weekend is April 25-27 on the West track.  Registration is open and we look forward to seeing everyone return for Round 2 of the NASA Utah racing series

Words by Michael Chandler and Matt Guiver, Photos by Michael Chandler and Michael Wells

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
16th Sep2013

NASA National Championships

by Michael Chandler

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NASA racers and support crew swarmed Miller Motorsports Park between the 4th and 8th of September for the NASA National Championships.  Every class of NASA sanctioned racer were out there, along with your humble reporter/photographer.  Well, the teams were there the whole time.  I, unfortunately, only made it out on Friday the 6th, but I brought you pictures!  And results!

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Us Against One Clothing printed up some stickers for the locals to run if they chose to.  The locals weren’t going to roll over and make it easy for the out of towners to win.

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The American Iron (AI), American Iron Extreme (AIX) and Camaro Mustang Challenge (CMC) guys were taking advantage of the Full Course layout by doing what Camaros and Mustangs do best: go fast in a straight line.  There were plenty of straights for them to wring their pony cars out.  The AI and AIX classes were dominated by Mustangs that made the trip to Miller Motorsports Park from as far away as Ohio!  But it wasn’t all Mustangs (well, the winners were all piloting Mustangs) or out of towners.

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Gary Free in his RaceCo prepped, South Towne Storage sponsored FR500S took fourth in AIX, besting two other competitors.  Corey Weber and Todd Davis brought out some classic American wheels to compete with.  Weber took fourth in AI while Davis took tenth.

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TTU, 1, and 2 were dominated by the home team.  Kyle Schick ran a blistering 1:55 to take TTU, while Shawn Murphy and his full interior STi took TT1 with a 2:03.  Smith-Burke Racing took TT2 by two tenths of a second!  Their 2:01.039 was just barely quick enough for the title, while Greg Valdez missed out on the podium by four tenths.  He still managed to out run a twin turbo 911 and a 911 GT3 by four and six seconds respectively.

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George Smith took the fight to the STR-1 crowd and emerged with the title in the JDP Motorsports/Smith Marketing Services C5 Corvette.  Corvettes appeared on the podium in ST2 (won by Smith-Burke Racing), ST3 and SU, with outright wins in ST2 and 3!

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SU field was the most exotic.  A pair of  prototype-esqe cars, a pair of Thunder Roadsters, a Viper, a Honda S2000 and a Corvette all vied for the title, but when the checkered flag dropped the #7 Elan DP02 of Jon Van Canegham emerged victorious.

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Also, the Brits were represented.

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Spec Miata was arguably the most action packed field.  Most of the packs were at least four cars deep, and dueling pairs of Miatas and lone Miatas were more the exception than the rule.  Blinkers were left on, doors were smashed, it was one of the more fun groups to see tear it up.  When the dust settled Matt Schultz climbed atop the podium.  He represents the NASA Northwest region.  The best the hometown crew could do was 13th (Chris Bond, 007).  Can’t win them all…

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If Spec Miata was the most action packed, most fun group to watch; then the GTS group was the prettiest.  Porsches and BMWs running hard lap after lap.  The sight was glorious, and the noise was epic!

Out of a possible twenty-eight championships, MMP locals took six.  Nearly one quarter of your NASA National Champions call Miller Motorsports Park home…  Well, not literally, but you get my drift.  The number could’ve been more just as easily as less.  Brendon Stewart’s Evo was still in pieces, Jason Smith sold his very quick Civic, Travis Williams’s FR500S was still down from the endurance race, and I’m not sure where Dave Dingman disappeared to.  Sally McNulty’s WRX was dealing with a bad head gasket, Jordan Priestly was doing support work for some of the drivers.  Those are six locals who could’ve competed for, if not taken a championship.  And we’ll just gloss over the Snows and John Potter, because we know how well they usually do.

The championship trophies may have been handed out, but the racing isn’t over for the season.  The final two events are in October: 4th-6th on the West track and 25th and 26th on the Outer Loop.  Still plenty of good times to be had, and for the TT guys, faster laps since it *should* be cooler out.

A full list of winners, placers, show-ers, just missed its and also rans can be found here.  BUT since you’re here, I present you with a list of the Champions, their class and their home region:

  • Alec Udell, American Iron, Texas
  • John Miksula, American Iron Extreme, Midwest
  • Aaron McSpadden, Camaro Mustang Challenge, Texas
  • Matt Schultz, Spec Miata, Northwest
  • David Schotz, TTB & C, Arizona
  • Sonny Watanasirisuk, TTD, California-Southern
  • Jason Kohler, TTE, Great Lakes
  • George Smith, STR1, Rocky Mountain
  • Michael von Quilich, Super Touring 1, California-Southern
  • Team Smith-Burke Racing, Super Touring 2, Utah
  • Kenneth Smith, Super Touring 3, Great Lakes
  • Jon Van Caneghem, Super Unlimited, California-Southern
  • Tyler Palmer, 944 Spec, California-Southern
  • Dick Hunter, GTS2, Texas
  • Tony Colicchio, GTS3, California-Northern
  • Michael McAleenan, GTS4, Northwest
  • Peter Spencer, GTS5, Utah
  • David Schotz, PTB, Arizona
  • Dennis Holloway, PTC, California-Southern
  • Need Speed Orozco, PTD, California-Southern
  • Jason Kohler, PTE, Great Lakes
  • Walter Carlos, PTF, California-Southern
  • David Dirks, Spec Z, Rocky Mountain
  • Shawn Murphy, TT1, Utah
  • Team Smith-Burke Racing, TT2, Utah
  • Christopher Mayfield, TT3, Rocky Mountain
  • Kyle Schick, TTU, Utah 

And there you have it.  See you in a a few weeks, and because I told them this is where to look, here’s a picture of this AIX Mustang:

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-Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.